Boat Building has become a rite of passage for Ashley Hall fifth graders, who partner with the Lowcountry Maritime Society on a year-long project crafting their own fleet of wooden boats, and the tradition continues this year! While the safety precautions have increased, the opportunities for skill building, confidence gains, and outdoor fun make this the perfect project for students to learn the ropes of an experiential education.

Research shows that girls decide as early as fifth grade if they will consider careers in the areas of math and science. For the Intermediate Program, sparking interest and solidifying skills in STEAM fields are key curricular goals. “I like Boat Building because it teaches me new skills like drilling, driving, and measuring parts of the boat,” said Marlowe Johnsen ’28. “It gives us new ways to learn.” Creating an outlet for girls to gain confidence and enjoy working outdoors is also a priority. “I love it because everyone is working together, we get to try new things, and we are making new friends while we do it,” asserted Brier Fava ’28. “Yes, we do use power tools a lot!”

During this unique STEAM project, students are guided through the process of learning how to read scaled plans and transform those plans into a wooden boat they build themselves. In addition to teaching building craftsmanship, the program places an emphasis on communication and teamwork. “I love Boat Building because you get to work together and make a really cool project in the end,” said Hannah King ’28. That finale comes this spring, when the girls will head to Colonial Lake to put their handiwork to the test. The year-long journey there is exactly what floats their boats.